“A dance gathering?” you ask.

Yes, that is exactly what it is: people gathering together to dance. I attended the Yukon’s first dance gathering on Oct. 17 – not as a participant, but as an observer.

Jessica Hickman held this first dance gathering in the upstairs studio at the Alpine Bakery. Hickman, originally from Calgary, where she studied jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary and musical theatre, is a new dancer to the community.

She currently works at Leaping Feats Creative Dance Works and is producing the Society of Yukon Independent Dance Artists (SYIDA) studio series. This dance gathering, created by Hickman, borrows from different dance traditions such as 5 Rhythms (created by Gabrielle Roth), Trance Dance, Circle Dance and Creative Movement.

The evening began with Hickman, a lovely, soft-spoken dance facilitator, greeting participants to a candlelit, tranquil, open space. A group of 10 people attended, all wanting the experience of a dance release. Participants started in a circle using stillness and breath as their guide. Hickman relayed to them, “Allow the music to sink into your body.”

People began to move. Some just swayed, some reached up and some just twitched. The music was designed to be in waves and to create different rhythms. It ranged in styles from percussion, to techno, to ethnic – all uplifting music.

I found myself grooving in my little corner as I sat writing.

“Nothing matters but the dance. Give yourself this hour,” spoke Hickman. The space was devoid of judgement and scrutiny. “Feel the energy coming out of the bottom of your feet.”

The movement started quite gently, even a little tentatively, but about 20 minutes into the dance, bodies relaxed. People showed no inhibitions. The dance became more energetic, taking over the room.

The music became louder and voices began to call out in the midst of the movement. I felt a little sorry that I had chosen to watch and not participate as I really wanted to move and join the dance frenzy. Oh well, my pen was moving … my pen was dancing.

This evening was the first of three dance gatherings until the New Year. If you like to move, if you need a release, if you are tired of the same old Saturday night boob tube, this might be the thing for you – men and women alike.

We are born with dance in our souls. Somewhere along the way, though, we lose the ability to dance with total abandon and to truly connect with our feelings. A dance gathering seeks to recapture this neglected or forgotten part of our humanity.

In the words of Sam Keen, “There are certain emotions that are difficult to entertain without motion … Is it really possible to be in touch without touching, to be moved without moving?”